An Exploratory Study of Advisors to Self-Advocacy Groups
Collins, Sheila E.
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Self-advocates are individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) who work together individually and in groups, supported by advisors, to advocate for choice, control, and self-determination in their own lives. In order to better understand the advisor role, the influence advisors have on self-advocacy groups and the qualities of an effective advisor, 12 semi-structured in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with youth self-advocates, advanced self-advocate leaders, and effective advisors. Findings were grouped into four categories: (a) the advisor, (b) advisor training, (c) barriers to support, and (d) the future of the self-advocacy movement. The results demonstrated that advisors had significant influences on self-advocacy groups. The extent of that influence, whether it was positive or negative, depended on a variety of factors, including an advisors’ belief in the mission of self-advocacy and their philosophical approach to providing support.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities